Do I Have ADD, ADHD?


Do I Have ADD, ADHD? The Symptoms and Diagnosis of Attention Deficit Disorder, Frank Coppola

The Symptoms and Diagnosis of Attention Deficit Disorder

Over the past decade, instances of Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) have increased rapidly. This could be primary because doctors are finally able to recognize the symptoms quickly, but there are other theories regarding the increase as well. For both adults and children, ADD can create symptoms that range from slightly annoying to life-altering.

Part of the problem with diagnosing ADD is that its symptoms can also be attributed to other disorders or diseases. ADD is officially characterized as a developmental disorder, but is often considered by many to be a behavioral disorder as well. It is also classified as a disruptive behavior disorder including oppositional defiant disorder, conduct disorder, and antisocial disorder.

If it sounds a bit complicated that’s because it is. The symptoms of and problems caused by ADD can be as small as a slight inability to concentrate to as large as a complete lack of focus resulting in various ways of “acting out” as a means of expressing irritation.

The symptoms of ADD are caused by the patient’s brain attempting to make up for a lack of certain neurochemicals. The brain tries to increase the release of the chemicals, causing the patient to fidget, lack focus, seek out stimulating activities and perform other actions that cause the stimulation that is lacking.

One of the most difficult issues with diagnosing ADD correctly is that there are other medical issues that can cause the same types of symptoms. Thyroid problems, lead intoxication, head trauma and fetal alcohol syndrome have all been known to produce one or many of the problems caused be ADD. This makes it especially important that the disorder is diagnoses by a doctor.

In the past, various guesses have been made about the cause of ADD. From poor parenting to allergies, physicians struggled for decades trying to find the cause of attention deficit disorder. It is now known that 75% of the time ADD is a genetic disorder. If a child has ADD, then most likely the disorder can also be found in a parent or close relative. Studies show that if one identical twin has ADD, there is a 50% chance that the other twin will also have the disorder.

However, the causes of the other 25% of ADD cases are unaccounted for. This has created a number of theories about the cause of the disorder. Some believe that ADD cases have not increased – they only appear to because they are now being properly diagnoses. On the other hand, there are people that think that the reason for the increase are certain dietary elements, a basic lack of social skills or even that ADD was not discovered, but rather “invented” as a means of explaining various personality and environmental issues.

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